"My name is Allison and I'm a Sugaraholic."
Me, Circa 1990.
Helping myself to someone else’s birthday cake (still in the box).
Turning my sugar addiction into a career.
I entered adulthood like any other overly confident, “invincible”, and completely clueless 22-year-old college graduate. I worked full time, accidentally watched “Food, Inc.” and became a vegan, and pursued my passion for sugar by running my own baking business during my nights and weekends.
In other words, I was stressed, sleep-deprived, carbo-loading on the daily, under-consuming protein and fat, and eating refined sugar and flour in obscene quantities.
In my late twenties, after “burning the candle at both ends,” subsisting heavily on sugar, and going through some extremely emotionally-stressful life events, my body finally gave out. My thyroid levels were dangerously low, I had severe adrenal fatigue, migraines, and an unusually high viral load from reactivated Epstein-Barr Virus. I was suffering from a myriad of unquantifiable symptoms: anxiety, depression, exhaustion, overwhelm, dizzy spells, hyperpigmentation, irregular menstruation, etc. My blood work, and general state of malaise, were trending dangerously close to Addison’s Disease (an autoimmune disorder of the adrenal glands).
Sugar, my drug of choice, is one of the most powerful immunosuppressives, not to mention a highly inflammatory and non-nutritive substance… In other words, the perfect kindling for an autoimmune fire.
I come from a bloodline rampant with autoimmune disorders: Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Reynaud’s, and Sjögren’s. Scary stuff. Luckily, modern medicine, and the fascinating field of epigenetics, tells us that our DNA only determines about 25% of our genetic expression, the other 75% is environmental (food, stress, toxins, gut health, etc.).
I had two choices:
- Do nothing and continue down the inevitable path to autoimmunity.
- Commit myself to learning and applying everything I could about nutrition and holistic health to optimize that 75% before it was too late.
Information is not transformation.
The more I learned, the more inspired and passionate I became. I felt so empowered by how much control we actually have over our own health. In just a few years, I had become someone my college self would have rolled my eyes at and called a “hippy.” I was a certified health coach and the director of an innovative holistic wellness program for Autistic adults. I ate a nutrient-dense, organic, whole-foods diet. I practiced yoga and wore athlesiure, exclusively… but I was still physically and emotionally addicted to sugar.
Sugar was always a problem for me. It was my indulgence, my consolation, my reward, my comfort, my companion. It got me through breakups and college exams, it celebrated my successes, it forgave my failures, and it gave me validation and significance. Whatever the emotional problem, chocolate chip cookies were my solution. I could eat as many as I could fit on a cookie tray to combat any emotional turmoil in my life.
“My name is Allison, and I’m a sugaraholic.”
It took me years to break free from my physical and emotional dependence on sugar. Years of trial and error. Years of reading and research. Years of facilitating behavior change in adults with Autism and gaining unique insight into the powerful role of emotional intelligence in our dietary and lifestyle choices.
Sugar no longer runs or ruins my life. I don’t constantly crave it, and I rarely consume it. When I do have something sweet, it is an intentional, not emotional, decision to do so. I no longer binge and, after only a few bites of something sweet, I actually feel satiated. I have no feelings of guilt, shame, or deprivation when it comes to sugar. I am healthy, happy, and have enough energy to go out every day and live my best life.
I am passionate about helping women achieve the lasting health, confidence, and happiness they deserve. The Sweeter Way is everything I learned along my quest for freedom from the sugar shackles that bound me my whole life, everything that can set you free as well. If I could do it, you can too. I promise.
Allison is a holistic wellness expert, certified health coach and women’s wellness writer and entrepreneur. She specializes in blood sugar regulation and autoimmune protocols, working with women around the globe to naturally eliminate symptoms, lose unwanted weight, improve energy and vitality, and uncover the lasting health, confidence, and happiness they are meant to have.
Allison is the former director of an innovative wellness center in which she led a lifestyle and behavior change program for adults with Autism. Her clients successfully reduced and even eliminated their need for prescription medications, normalized their body weight, and experienced profound improvement in quality of life. It was through this work with Autism that she gained her unique perspective and expertise in the powerful role of emotional intelligence in our dietary and lifestyle behaviors.
She studied at Boston University, Duke Integrative Medicine, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is also trained in Motivational Interviewing (a client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change).